If you’re a small business trying to make a name for yourself online, inbound marketing is seen as the go-to tactic.
Inbound marketing involves creating a bunch of marketing materials — blog posts, videos, social media posts, ebooks, etc. — and putting them out there to draw buyers in. Everyone recommends inbound marketing and there are thousands of agencies dedicated to providing content creation as a service. We highly recommend it too. But it’s not the only approach to take.
Because why would you limit yourself?
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Outbound marketing might have been overshadowed by the juggernaut that is inbound marketing, but it shouldn’t be ignored. In fact, it should be embraced. Cold calling, cold emailing, and business networking all work. They’ve worked for decades and they’ll continue to work long into the future. Because while business has changed, people haven’t.
People respond to sales tactics in the same way they’ve always done and if an outbound sales campaign is done right the results can transform your company.
- 75% of surveyed executives are willing to make an appointment or attend an event based on a cold call or email alone (DiscoverOrg)
- 92% of all customer interactions happen on the phone (Salesforce)
- Email is 40 times more effective at getting new customers than Facebook and Twitter combined (McKinsey & Company)
Those statistics show the potential of outbound marketing. But if you’re looking for a real-world example, look no further than Uber. Yes, one of the world’s biggest companies — a poster child of digital disruption — got its big break from cold calling:
“I went to Google, typed in San Francisco chauffeur or San Francisco limousine, I just filled out an excel sheet and I just started dialing for dollars, right? First ten guys I called, three of them hung up before I got a few words out, a few of them would listen for like 45 seconds and then hung up, and three of them said ‘I’m interested, let’s meet.’. And if you’re cold calling and three out of ten say ‘let’s meet’, you’ve got something.” —Travis Kalanick, Co-Founder/CEO of Uber
5 reasons why outbound marketing can improve sales
1. You’re talking directly to your target audience
Inbound marketing relies on creating content that attracts the ideal customer. But it doesn’t deliver the pinpoint accuracy that outbound does. There are no guarantees that a key decision maker within a company will find their way to your landing page or blog post, but picking up the phone can take you right to them.
Outbound lets you pick your prospects and get after them. You control who you’re going to contact, when and how. Whether it’s a phone call, email or networking event, you decide the right medium and the right time to reach exactly who you want to reach.
2. Talking to prospects is the best way to understand their problems
Nothing creates a connection like one-on-one interaction. Talking to people directly is the best way to get to know someone and truly understand their problems. It’s also the best way to show that you’re genuine, caring and knowledgeable.
Outbound sales campaigns also take away the guessing game. Rather than creating content that you think prospects will like, you’re getting first-hand information in real-time — something that’s invaluable to building lasting relationships, and to improving your product offering over time.
3. Inbound marketing alone is not enough
Inbound marketing relies on people looking for your solution and finding you amongst the dozens of other companies offering the same thing. Building a solid SEO and social media presence to help you stand out takes time and focussing on these channels alone won’t be enough to sustain your business, particularly in the early days.
Phoning, emailing and talking to people face-to-face at industry events puts your solution right in front of the people that matter, giving them no choice but to take notice.
4. Outbound marketing improves inbound marketing
Sales reps working on the outbound side are critical to the success of inbound marketing campaigns. They’re the ones on the front line talking to targeted prospects, identifying pain points and discovering objections. The information gleaned from a phone call can be used to create targeted, personalised marketing materials for better results.
5. Outbound campaigns get immediate results
Outbound generates new business quickly. You can pick up the phone and have someone signed up for an online demo within minutes. Okay, so not every cold pitch will pay off, but if you want to scale your business quickly, it’s better to invest time and resources in cold calling and emailing than it is to focus on a blog or Twitter account.
People that say outbound marketing is dead haven’t been doing it right. Granted, it’s not always pretty, but if you engage your customers in the right way, via phone, email or in person, it’s the best way to make your business a success in the shortest possible time.